Controversy Erupts Over Reopening of Bengoni's, Beloved Institution in Overland [UPDATE]


Update, July 2, 2014: Smith tells Gut Check he's come to a decision on the name. Drum roll please:

basilios_overland.jpg
Courtesy Darin Smith

That's right, he's opted to go with Basilio's rather than the contentious Bengoni's name. The old signs, however, are still on the building as Overland "memorabilia," Smith says:

bengonis_signs_basilios.jpg
Courtesy Darin Smith

The Eisen family is already sounding their approval on Facebook -- here's what one of their daughters posted this afternoon:

I had heard he decided to change the name !! I can't tell you how pleased I am about it. Staying true to my word I will be in line with the rest of his supporters to spend my money on a large pepperoni pizza and a chef salad with X House dressing!

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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18 comments
rettamichaels
rettamichaels

Darin, good luck. You should've kept the name and flown fingers. 

Eisen, you had your say... It smelled, so wipe, and flush. That's all you got off. 


It sounds like more than 9/11 happened. It sounds like you went cheap. Fool a customer once and they'll walk every time. He has the recipes, he'll survive.  

donmichaelkaiser
donmichaelkaiser

Should have kept the old name.  Screw the family who blamed its failure on 9/11 had no rights to the name.  The new owner registered it with the SOS.  The sign was abandoned.  There was no disrespect shown, nor owed.  If the new owner gets out of Overland with only being shot in the foot, it's a victory.  That hood should be thrilled it has a new business without bars on the window.

MO_AaronD
MO_AaronD

9/11 caused your downfall? I guess it was Osama who devastated the first restaurant  the fact that it turned to sh** had nothing to do with it. let them suck  with  the same mosticiolli that is befit of most shit I-TAL-YAN that is typical of St. Louis WOPS. QUITCHA BITCHIN.  Lame asses

bbf62002
bbf62002

If Smith can go out there and do the name proud, more power to him.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

We'll never know all that happened. The media never tells all. Again, the previous owner told the customers, including you, nothing. He closed his doors and walked away, without a sign or word of why. That's a little crappy. If nephew has recipes from the original, why shouldn't he give it a try? Everyone has an opinion on why he should/shouldn't do things a certain way, but in reality, it's business....and money.

Debbie Compton Kornmann
Debbie Compton Kornmann

After we moved to Overland we decided to go try Bengoni's because some friends who used to live in Overland had recommended it. We pulled up and the place was closed. So we have no idea how the food was since we never got to eat there. When we seen the sign that "Bengoni's" was opening again in this new location we were excited because we would finally get to try their food. We can't compare it to how the food was previously, since we had never been, but we can decide whether we will go back or not based on how the food is now.

Carole Testa
Carole Testa

The uncle sold out to the Eisen's years ago, they bought the name along with everything else. Yes the restaurant closed, but you don't try to fool the public calling it the "Old New Bengoni's. I never knew that the place was owned by someone else, so when I saw the sign I thought Gary was opening again. I think the guy was trying to fool the public.Then he knew the hurt it was causing the family, and the guy had the chance to get the old sign for free, if he had any business sense he might have called Gary Eisen and ask how he felt about using the old sign, it was coming down anyway, but just that jester could have made things go a little easier for the family, when Darin did that he cut his own throat with me. A good business man does not try to fool his public, when a conflict came up such as it did, he could have taken care of business, which he won't get any of my business. Be open and honest, don't say you have the same recipes. IMHO he would have done better using another name

Katherine Estevez Hazeltine
Katherine Estevez Hazeltine

Darin is just a hard working guy trying to make this work! Give him a chance! God bless you Darin in your new endeavor no matter what name you choose!

Cory Hart
Cory Hart

If he got approval from the original owners that started the business with that name then there's no reason he shouldnt be able to use the name. It seems like a slightly different business style now though, so it'd make sense to change as well.

Gale Bridges
Gale Bridges

I'll say this. As a family member of the "original" owner. I wish him luck .

Pwnzorrz
Pwnzorrz

He should call it Crybaby's.  Wahhhhhh you took a name that we took from someone else Wahhhhhhhhh!


Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

My opinion, the uncle is the original owner. How would the nephew expect to know how it would upset the second owner if the general public, who frequented the restaurant, didn't even know what happened? Kinda crazy....

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